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Ethics And Nanotech JøRgensen 26 Nov 2009

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  • Bacteria that are harmful Silver that can protect Consumers / families that are concerned But nanosilver is not killing all bacteria Focus is taken away from why we have pathogene bacteria where
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    • 1. Ethics and nanotechnology – aspects of democracy, legitimacy and sustainable development Farm Inn, 26 Nov 2009 Michael Søgaard Jørgensen The Science Shop c/o DTU Management Technical University of Denmark 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark [email_address]
    • 2. Agenda
      • Nanoethics => nanogovernance
      • The nanochallenge
      • A model for governance of nanotechnology
        • Deconstructing visions
        • Systems perspective on nanotechnologies
        • Life cycle assessment of nanotechnologies
      • Organising nanogovernance
    • 3. From nanoethics to nanogovernance
      • Ethics is about what is right and wrong
      • Ethics is about how we find out what is right and wrong
      • Today ’governance’ is often used about how issues are managed in a society
      • Ethical discussions tend to become about personal commitment and blaming
      • … .but the relation between technology and society is much more complex than that
      • Nanogovernance
    • 4. The nanochallenge!
      • Technologies are shaped – not given from nature
        • We participate as researchers in the shaping
      • Co-shaping of technology and society
        • Technologies are not good or bad: which societal needs are addressed how
      • Nanotechnologies are not smart and green
        • Risks and potentials – shaped and assessed in a life cycle perspective
    • 5. Many societal areas addressed with nanotechnologies
      • Nanotechnologies are enabling technologies
      • => claimed to be useful in almost all areas of the society
      • => challenging many social areas
      • Research and development of nanotechnologies is a highly competitive area => big funds to compete for
      • Increased focus of universities on spin-off companies, patents etc.
      • => confidentiality maybe a hindrance to public insight and scrutiny into the research
    • 6. Hypes and hopes
      • Nanoresearchers may feel they have to promise fast societal benefits from the research (Norwegian Research Council)
      • Hope => hype?
      • Some nanoresearchers afraid of public dialogue
      • … ..Others interested
      • … ..To avoid the same critique as with genetic modification in food and agriculture
    • 7. Co-shaping of technology and society (1)
      • Few would probably disagree in the development and use of new systems of small sensors combining ICT and nanotechnology
      • However....
        • NGO’s and researchers would object if the sensors are used to change focus away from pro-active prevention of pollution at the source to clean-up when sensors report problems
      • If we should believe nanosensors should solve the pollution problem....
        • ...the lack of data should have been the reason for previous pollution.....
    • 8. Co-shaping of technology and society (2)
      • Not a linear development from need to research to innovation to application
      • Not good or bad properties of technologies per se
      • What agenda(s) are built around a technology by who?
    • 9. Case: Changing agendas about genetic modified plants
      • GM-researchers and companies pointed to pesticide resistant plants as
        • ‘ An efficient agricultural strategy’
      • NGOs pointed to
        • the risk of getting locked into a pesticide-dependent track
        • the risk of transfer of genetic material coding for pesticide resistance to other related plants
        • organic farming and its principles of controlling weeds
      • Industry called GM ‘an environmental strategy’
        • Using less pesticides
      • Practice: Some farmers use more pesticides with GMO-plants
    • 10. Some environmental potentials and risks related to nanotechnology
      • Environmental potentials related to nanotechnology
      • Chemical synthesis can take place at “normal” pressure and temperature
      • Non-toxic catalysts
      • Nano-scale design of materials can increase speed and efficiency of processes
      • Environmental and health risks related to nanotechnology
      • Hazardous solvents used in the manufacturing of C60 molecules
      • Most nano-particles are not biodegradable
      • Nano-tubes have the same material characteristics as asbestos fibres
    • 11. The “nanochallenge” in short
      • The interests and the uncertainties are big
      • Need for focus on robust development with focus on democracy and legitimacy (Gibbons et al)
      • Avoid wasting money on solving (non-)-problems in un-sustainable ways – and thereby take away the focus from other and more legitimate problems and solutions
      • Avoid solving problems in a non-sustainable way
    • 12. A governance model based on integrated design
      • (De)construction of scripts and scenarios in research and development
      • Systems approach to nanotechnology
      • Environmental assessments based on dialogue and life cycle perspective
        • of visions about nanotechnologies
        • of design processes
        • of practice applying nanotechnologies
    • 13. (1) Deconstruction of scripts and scenarios in R&D visions
      • A starting point in the problems, which a certain nanotechnology (area) - according to the researchers and/or designers - is supposed to solve.
      • The overall questions to ask:
        • By whom are the addressed problems recognised as problems?
        • By whom is the suggested technological change recognised as an acceptable solution?
    • 14. OILFRESH (1)
      • Problems addressed
        • French fries too fat
        • Heating too long
        • Oil disposal frequency
      • Product
      • The OilFresh device is already in use in a number of individual restaurants.
      • Future clients : large fast-food chains such as KFC, McDonald’s, and Burger King.
      • Advantages
        • Cut oil cost to half
        • Reduces cooking time & temperature
        • Gives healthier & better tasting fries
    • 15. OILFRESH (2)
      • The OilFresh catalyst system is based on nanoparticle technology.
      • Nanoceramic catalytic pellets are fused together to create a huge surface area on the catalyst surface.
      • Extends the fry life of oils by reducing oxidative degradation
        • Students at Nanotechnology and society course, DTU, Jan 2008
    • 16. Sociology of technology: Script and description
      • Script: A kind of knowledge claim that lays out a program of action ’the designer’ (un-)consciously assume will be followed
        • A manuscript for the role of the technology
      • De-scription : the accept / resistance / modification of the inscribed to the script
        • Is nano frying oil used for promoting healthy fried food?
        • Can consumers manage not to eat more fried food?
    • 17. Sociology of technology: Enrollment and translation
      • How actors enroll other actors or non-humans into postions that suit their purposes
      • How problems are translated to enable a solution with a certain technology
        • Fight obesity with nano enhanced frying oil
        • Fight bacterial problems with nano silver
    • 18. Should we fight bacteria? “ The Silver Nano Health System is a comprehensive system developed by Samsung to improve your quality of life by eliminating bacteria from the places that count most.....Just as a dirty washer never truly cleans clothes… Samsung has found a solution in the safety of silver , ionizing silver into ions for an effective coating that lets your home appliances remain remarkably free of bacteria and odors. ”
    • 19. Actor-networks around nano-silver (I)
      • Group discussion:
      • Who are the humans and non-humans which Samsung tries to enroll in a network around nano-silver on household equipment?
      • What could be the problems with use of nanosilver?
    • 20. Actor-networks around nano-silver (II)
      • Governmental authorities and researchers are concerned about
        • Harming the waste water treatment facilities
        • Creating silver-resistant bacteria => reduce/prevent the use of silver as a anti-microbial agent in the prevention of infections in serious burn-wounds
      • Swedish governmental institutions are no longer allowed to buy nano-silver products
      • Samsung has had to redraw at least one of their products from a country
    • 21. Actor-networks around nano-silver (III)
      • Technology push from nanotechnology companies – sometimes without knowledge about the product fields they want to sell to
      • Technology pull from lowtech companies – e.g. within textiles - without knowledge about the nanotechnology and its working principles
    • 22. To make a technology ’work’ in a robust way
      • Technological innovations must be supported by a corresponding evolution of social and institutional support and control
        • To avoid a widespread use of nanosilver
        • To avoid that fast food chains use a product like Oilfresh to promote ’healthy fried food’ => a higher consumption of fried food
      • Who should take of these uncertainties and when?
      • What (manu)scripts are we as researchers part of (writing)?
    • 23. Governance model (2): Systems’ approach to nanotechnology
      • Should ensure that focus is
        • not only on single properties or features,
          • for example the tiny dimensions of a nanotechnology ,
        • but the whole system , which a nanotechnology or a nanotechnology-based product is part of
      • Including the need for supporting infrastructures like quality standards, waste (water) management systems etc.
        • E.g. facilities to treat the waste water from households having nano silver products
    • 24. Governance model (3): Env. assessment based on dialogue and life cycle perspective
      • A life cycle approach...
        • where not only the use of the technology, but also the manufacturing of it, the use and in the post-use phase are described and assessed.
      • At the research and innovation stages
        • A life-cycle screening of possible future applications,
        • Based on the MECO-concept (Materials, Energy, Chemicals, Others (Occupational Health and Safety etc.))
        • Dialogue about ‘relevant’ environmental aspects and the possibilities for prevention
    • 25. The principle behind a life cycle inventory of a product
      • The interaction between
        • Product
        • Actors
        • Systems/infrastructures/other products
        • … .in the different links of the life cycle/product chain
      • Follow the product through the possible, intended or actual life cycles
    • 26. Nanospeed badminton racket in life cycle perspective Materials, Energy, Chemicals and Others matrix for the different life cycle stages of a “nanospeed” badminton racket. Nanospeed racket Raw materials Production Use Disposal M aterials Fossil fuels Waste resin E nergy Vacuum pump Melting and curing C hemicals Chlorinated and other solvents Nanoparticles released from waste? O ther aspects, including occupational health and safety Occupational handling of nanoparticles
    • 27. Motor oil with nanoparticles in life cycle perspective The Materials, Energy, Chemicals and Others matrix for the different life cycle stages of a motor oil. Oil lubricant Raw materials Production Use Disposal M aterials Fossil fuels E nergy Electricity Improved lubrication? C hemicals Release of nanoparticles? Nanoparticles released from waste? O ther aspects, including occupational health and safety Occupational handling of nanoparticles
    • 28. Environmental potential from a nanotechnology-based product!? (Steinfeldt et al., 2004) CC = Car Coating Steinfelt et al 2004: Globalwarming potential (kg CO2-equivalents per m2 coated surface
    • 29. Risk = hazard + exposure Use/process (frequency, duration, amount) Source: Poul Bo Larsen
      • The properties making nanomaterials attractive, may be those that also make them hazardous :
      • High reactivity => highly reactive in the body
      • Organic solvents dissolve fat and dirt => damage the brain
    • 30. Typology of nanomaterials (Hansen et al 2007)
    • 31. A general model for qualitative assessment of work environment
      • Assessment of:
      • The health impact from the chemical, material etc.
      • The level of exposure (how closed is the system, how much handling of the material, exposure during cleaning, accident etc.)
      • The duration of exposure (everyday, often, seldom etc.)
      • Description and maybe qualitative scores (1-3) => scores 1 - 27
    • 32. A general model for qualitative assessment of environment
      • Assessment of:
      • The environmental impact from the chemical, material etc.
      • The level of disemination (how widespread use of the product, how closed is the system, exposure during cleaning, accident etc.)
      • The level of exposure (everyday, often, seldom etc.)
      • Description and maybe qualitative scores (1-3) => scores 1 - 27
    • 33. Reactions in lung alveoles from particles and nanoparticles Nanoparticles released into the blood Bigger particles easier digested by macrophages Fine particles Ultrafine particles < 0.1. nm Nano particles, environment and health. From Ecological Council (in Danish)
    • 34. Environmental strategies
      • Dilution
      • End-of-pipe
      • Cleaner technology
      • Cleaner products
    • 35. Source reduction: Nanoparticles (1)
      • Product focus: inherently dispersive
      • Surface modification: hydrophilic coating reduces inflammatory responses
      • Quantum dots: coating of CdSe dots with ZnS or organic compounds reduces cytotoxicity
    • 36. Source reduction: Nanoparticles (2)
      • Product focus: not inherently dispersive:
      • What happens during cleaning, wear, tear and corrosion
      • Release as original nanoparticles?
      • Release as larger aggregates?
      • No comparative studies with non-nano products
      • Experience with material design preventing nanoparticle release could be useful
    • 37. Need for democratic governance
      • Strategies for how and when different actor groups are given a voice in relation to science and technology and how decisions are made on issues of public concern:
      • Inclusiveness, democratic control, discursive quality
    • 38. Aspects of governance
      • Openness vs. relevance of dialogue
        • How open is the agenda setting
        • How much is the dialogue related to relevant decisions
      • Inclusion vs. exclusion – of aspects and actors
      • Legitimacy
        • of the problems addressed by nanotechnology
        • of the solutions offered by nanotechnology
        • of other solutions to the problem
    • 39. : Case: NanoCap ( “Nanotechnology Capacity Building NGOs”)
      • Deepen the understanding of environmental, occupational health and safety risks and ethical aspects of nanotechnology
      • A structured discussion is organised between environmental NGOs, trade unions, academic researchers and other stakeholders
      • www.nanocap.eu
      • Earlier project: Nanologue.net
    • 40. Governance as an ongoing process
      • Governance activities may have different types of results:
        • Increasing knowledge of the CSO and/or the scientists (for example about technology, social impact or policy strategies),
        • Developing new network relations between CSOs and researchers
        • Developing actions, like
          • (re)framing a discourse,
          • social mobilisation
          • getting influence on a research strategy
    • 41. Room for democracy & legitimacy?
      • Are researchers willing to engage in dialogue about the legitimacy of the problems and the sustainability of the solutions they are researching?
      • Are governments willing to discuss research strategies with civil society organisations with focus on problems and not on specific technical solutions?